Proficiency is a representation of a creature's familiarity with something. When a creature has proficiency in something, they may add their proficiency bonus to dice rolls that involve that proficiency.
Proficiency bonus[edit | edit source]
A creature's proficiency bonus is a modifier that increases with their level. It starts at +2 at level 1, and increases by 1 every four levels thereafter, increasing to +3 at level 5, and to a total of +4 at level 9.
A creature's proficiency bonus is applied to the following rolls:
- Ability checks made using skills the creature has proficiency with.
- Creatures with expertise in a skill add their proficiency bonus twice on ability checks made using that skill.
- Attack rolls made with weapons the creature has proficiency with.
- Attack rolls made when casting spells, as long as the creature has spellcasting proficiency.
- Saving throws (ie. Strength saves, Dexterity saves) that the creature has proficiency in.
A creature with spellcasting proficiency also adds their proficiency bonus to the Difficulty Class (DC) of any spells they cast: 8 + spellcasting ability modifier + proficiency bonus
Weapon proficiency[edit | edit source]
A creature can be proficient in entire categories of weapons (martial or simple), or it can be proficient in specific weapon types such as Longswords, Longbows, etc. These proficiencies can be granted by the creature's race, class, or feats chosen when leveling up.
When a creature is proficient in a wielded weapon, they add their proficiency bonus to attack rolls with that weapon. When the weapon is equipped in the main hand, it also enables special properties and actions of that weapon type, such as Tenacity, Piercing Strike, Flourish, Lacerate, Pommel Strike, and so on.
|Racial Weapon Proficiencies|
|Drow||Rapiers, Shortswords, Hand Crossbows|
|Dwarf||Battleaxes, Handaxes, Light Hammers, Warhammers|
|Elf||Longswords, Shortswords, Longbows, Shortbows|
|Githyanki||Greatswords, Longswords, Shortswords|
|Half-Elf, Human||Pikes, Spears, Halberds, Glaives|
|Class Weapon Proficiencies|
|Barbarian, Fighter, Paladin, Ranger||Martial Weapons, Simple Weapons (In effect, all weapons except Improvised.)|
|Bard, Rogue||Simple Weapons, Hand Crossbows, Longswords, Rapiers, Shortswords|
|Cleric, Warlock||Simple Weapons|
|Druid||Clubs, Daggers, Javelins, Maces, Quarterstaves, Scimitars, Sickles, Spears|
|Sorcerer, Wizard||Daggers, Light Crossbows, Quarterstaves|
|Monk||Simple Weapons, Shortswords|
Armour proficiency[edit | edit source]
A creature may have proficiency in Light, Medium or Heavy armour. A creature with Heavy armour proficiency always has proficiency in Light and Medium armour, and a creature with Medium armour always has proficiency in Light armour.
Shield proficiency[edit | edit source]
Shields are a piece of equipment wielded in the offhand weapon slot. Shield proficiency typically comes paired with Medium armour proficiency.
Wielding a shield without proficiency in Shields will impose disadvantage on all of the creature's ability checks, saving throws and attack rolls, and prevents the creature from casting spells.
Armour and shield proficiency by source[edit | edit source]
- x = proficient
- - = not proficient
- o = some subclasses are proficient
Spellcasting proficiency[edit | edit source]
All creatures capable of spellcasting (i.e., without the use of magical items or scrolls) have proficiency in spellcasting. This means that the creature's proficiency bonus will be added to the attack rolls of spells, and to the Difficulty Class of saving throws imposed on others via spells. A creature without spellcasting proficiency cannot add its proficiency bonus to the attack rolls or DCs of any spells they cast via magical items or scrolls.
Saving throw proficiency[edit | edit source]
Creatures with proficiency in an ability-based saving throw (Strength save, Dexterity save etc) add their proficiency bonus to the results of respective saving throws. Each class provides proficiency in two types of saving throw.
Skill proficiency[edit | edit source]
A creature proficient in a skill adds its proficiency bonus to any ability checks that use the respective skill. Backgrounds, races, classes, as well as some class features, can give proficiency in specific skills.
Background skill proficiencies[edit | edit source]
|Charlatan||Deception||Sleight of Hand|
|Folk Hero||Animal Handling||Survival|
|Urchin||Sleight of Hand||Stealth|
Racial skill proficiencies[edit | edit source]
- Elves and Drow are proficient in Perception
- Wood Elves and Wood Half-Elves are proficient in Stealth
- Half-Orcs are proficient in Intimidation
- Human can select any one free skill proficiency
- Githyanki can gain Proficiency in all Skills corresponding to a chosen Ability (Recharge: Long Rest)
Class skill proficiencies[edit | edit source]
All classes give proficiency in two to four skills on level 1. While, generally speaking, only the first class taken gives skill proficiencies, some classes also give proficiency in one skill when they are taken via multiclassing.
Skill proficiencies available to each class at Level 1:
- Barbarian: 2 from Animal Handling, Athletics, Intimidation, Nature, Perception, Survival.
- Bard: Any 3 skills.
- Cleric: 2 from History, Insight, Medicine, Persuasion, Religion.
- Druid: 2 Animal Handling, Arcana, Insight, Medicine, Nature, Perception, Religion, Survival.
- Fighter: 2 from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, History, Insight, Intimidation, Perception, Survival.
- Monk: 2 from Acrobatics, Athletics, History, Insight, Religon, Stealth.
- Paladin: 2 from Athletics, Insight, Intimidation, Medicine, Persuasion, Religion.
- Ranger: 3 from Acrobatics, Animal Handling, Athletics, Insight, Investigation, Nature, Perception, Stealth, Survival.
- Rogue: 4 from Acrobatics, Athletics, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Investigation, Perception, Performance, Persuasion, Sleight of Hand, Stealth.
- Sorcerer: 2 from Arcana, Deception, Insight, Intimidation, Persuasion, Religion.
- Warlock: 2 from Arcana, Deception, History, Intimidation, Investigation, Religion.
- Wizard: 2 from Arcana, History, Insight, Investigation, Medicine, Religion.
Ranger[edit | edit source]
Rangers gain additional proficiencies depending on their Favoured Enemy:
|Keeper of the Veil||Arcana|
Bard[edit | edit source]
Warlock[edit | edit source]
Expertise[edit | edit source]
Expertise allows a creature to add double its proficiency bonus when making a corresponding ability check. While it is possible to have proficiency and expertise in a skill at the same time, they do not stack.
Sources of expertise that require prior proficiency in the respective skill include:
- Rogues gain expertise in two skills they are proficient in at both level 1 and level 6.
- Bards gain expertise in two skills they are proficient in at both level 3 and level 10.
Sources of expertise that do not require prior proficiency in the respective skill include:
- Knowledge Domain Clerics can select two skills to master amongst Arcana, History, Nature and Religion at level 1.
- The feat Actor gives expertise in Deception and Performance.
- Rock Gnomes have expertise in History.
Instrument proficiency[edit | edit source]
Instruments can be used to entertain and distract crowds. When a character proficient in an instrument plays one, nearby people might approach and gather to listen. If they perform well on a Performance check, those gathered might toss gold to the performer as well.
Taking one level of Bard will grant instrument proficiency. Otherwise, a character can take the Feat Performer, or pass one of two Charisma (Performance) checks while helping Alfira with her song in the Druid Grove.
This proficiency is listed as "Musical Instrument" in a character's Detailed View information box.
Unused proficiencies[edit | edit source]
Some NPCs have two special weapon proficiencies unavailable to the player character and their companions. The weapons for these proficiencies cannot be normally obtained and are only referred to in the game files.
|Class weapon proficiencies|
|Resources||Action • Bonus action • Reaction • Movement speed • Concentration|
|Dice rolls||Ability check • Ability score modifier • Advantage • Attack roll • Damage roll (Mechanics) • Initiative • Inspiration • Proficiency (Bonus) • Saving throw|
|Other mechanics||Alchemy • Approval • Damage types • Difficult Terrain • Enchantment • Reactions • Resting • Stealth • Barter ( Attitude • Traders • Trading and item pricing)|
|Items|| Equipment (Weapons • Clothing • Armour • Shields • Headwear • Handwear • Footwear • Amulets • Rings • Cloaks)
Consumables (Arrows • Coatings • Dyes • Elixirs • Grenades • Potions • Scrolls) • Miscellaneous
|Ability scores||Strength • Dexterity • Constitution • Intelligence • Wisdom • Charisma|
|Races||Dragonborn • Drow • Dwarf • Elf • Githyanki • Gnome • Half-Elf • Half-Orc • Halfling • Human • Tiefling|
|Classes||Barbarian • Bard • Cleric • Druid • Fighter • Monk • Paladin • Ranger • Rogue • Sorcerer • Warlock • Wizard|
|Character features||Armour Class • Backgrounds • Creature size • Feats • Hit points • Illithid powers • Point Buy • Skills • Spells (List • Mechanics)|